Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

You Know What Happens When You Assume?

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

The Obama administration has shown an interesting trait recently. I can only describe it as a persecution complex. The Obama administration assumes something will happen and takes unprecedented steps

First up is the administration’s attitude toward the Arizona immigration law. The administration assumed that the law would lead to racial profiling and immediately threatened to take Arizona to court. This despite the fact that the law specifically prohibits racial profiling. Since a lawsuit against Arizona is red meat to the great one’s base, a suit had to be filed. And before the effects of the law could be felt and observed. But in the end, the claim against AZ had nothing to do with racial profiling and everything to do with Washington’s right to select the laws it wishes to enforce – purely for political reasons.

Second up is the recess appointment of Dr. Donald M. Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This position has been vacant for some time and Congress was out for what, two weeks? Of course a recess appointment was not necessary, but with the recess appointment, Obama avoids the spectacle of a hearing for the American people to actually hear from Berwick. Obama didn’t give the Senate a chance to schedule hearings. He simply assumed the Republicans would try to block the nomination.

Close on the heels of Berwick we have the case of Shirley Sherrod. A video of 24-year-old comments made by Ms. Sherrod, without context, aired on a conservative website. Rather than research the comments and determine context, Obama assumed that this story would lead on Glenn Beck. Because of concerns of racism occasioned by the Justice Department’s dropping of a lawsuit against the New Black Panthers, Sherrod was summarily fired. In actuality, Sherrod was defended by Glenn Beck.

I think it was my high school chemistry teacher that I first heard ask the question: You know what happens when you assume? I wonder if the community organizer has ever heard that question? Because he is living proof of the wisdom.

Stuff It

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Smack dab in the middle of the Gulf Oil “Spill”, we are a few weeks removed from BP’s attempt at “top kill”, in which they attempted to plug the hole from the top. This did not work and now, today, we hear Obama getting tough, wanting to know whose “ass to kick”. Early in the disaster, we heard Ken Salazar acting manly and talking about stepping on throats. More recently, we hear of people (well, muddle-brained liberals, anyway) wanting to “stuff the pipe” with “tea baggers” or BP executives. And now, most recently, I am made aware of a Facebook page seeking one million people in favor of stuffing the pipe with Sarah Palin.

I’ll tell you what I think. With all the talk about stuffing, ass, pipe, tea baggers, and throats, I think the people all up in arms and spewing this tripe are exhibiting some kind of deep-seated and latent sexual tendency.

On an unrelated note, I will mention that June 2010 has been declared as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month by Barack Obama. I say stuff it!

Blame Amerika

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

It has been some time since I last shared my thoughts. So many crazy things have happened, it would have been difficult to decide what to share. But today is a banner day. We have gone from having Obama visit foreign countries to blame America from foreign soil to, now, having our invited guests blame America from the halls of Congress. Mexican President Calderon did just that today, sounding more like a liberal mouthpiece and less like the president of an actual country. Calderon certainly gave support to the Great Divider by stating that the new Arizona law effectively leads to racial profiling. Frankly, Calderon can besa mi culo.

This comes on the heels of Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, who responded to questions on the US-China Human Rights Dialog.

QUESTION: Did the recently passed Arizona immigration law come up? And, if so, did they bring it up or did you bring it up?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY POSNER: We brought it up early and often. It was mentioned in the first session, and as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination, and that these are issues very much being debated in our own society.

“We brought it up early and often.” Is this apologizing to China for the Arizona law? Your response will indicate whether you live in America, or seek to live in Amerika. Sadly, the current administration has a single map, and all the directions point to Amerika.

Crime and Punishment

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

This past Saturday, the Washington Post ran an editorial titled “Christmas Day negligence”. It began reasonably enough:

UMAR FAROUK Abdulmutallab was nabbed in Detroit on board Northwest Flight 253 after trying unsuccessfully to ignite explosives sewn into his underwear. The Obama administration had three options: It could charge him in federal court. It could detain him as an enemy belligerent. Or it could hold him for prolonged questioning and later indict him, ensuring that nothing Mr. Abdulmutallab said during questioning was used against him in court.

It is now clear that the administration did not give serious thought to anything but Door No. 1. This was myopic, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

Whether to charge terrorism suspects or hold and interrogate them is a judgment call.

And then this

We originally supported the administration’s decision in the Abdulmutallab case, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to try Mr. Abdulmutallab turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a crime-and-punishment model.

Well, I have to say that I am surprised at the Post editorial board’s surprise. I mean, this seems like a lot of ass covering to me. What does the editorial board think is meant when critics speak of a pre-9/11 mindset? What does the board make of Obama’s renaming of the War on Terror to ‘Overseas Contingency Operations’? (And what is the implication of “overseas”, anyway? What about the homeland?) What about the decision to try terrorists in federal court, in New York City of all places? What does the board think of the administration’s response – when presented with assertions that waterboarding has led to significant actionable intelligence – that we might have gotten the same intelligence through other means.

Where is the “deliberation” in these policies instituted by the Obama administration? To me, these all smack of a “crime-and-punishment model”. They all seem to be “knee-jerk” policies designed to appease a certain constituency.

Sure, as the Post states, “whether to charge terrorism suspects or hold and interrogate them is a judgment call” in the sense that the President must exercise his prerogative (and you have to hope that he exercises sound judgment). But just because judgment may be applied when arriving at a conclusion does not necessarily mean that good judgment is applied.

One Year Later

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Nearly one year ago, on November 2nd, 2008, I began Thought Docket this way:

As I write this, just two days before an historic election, it appears that the citizens of the US are about to elect Barack Obama as president.  It seems like a particularly good time to begin Thought Docket.  The president-elect will face unprecedented challenges: two conflicts, Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, a resurgent Russia, climate change, energy independence, healthcare, the economy, to name a few. I won’t be voting for Senator Obama, but if he is elected, it will be my sincere hope that he rises to these challenges.

I must say that I have not been impressed with the performance to date. Too much apologizing (to European bed wetters and Middle Eastern jihadists) and too little influencing of the legislative agenda.

Tomorrow morning, I will be heading to the polls in Virginia to register my choices for, among other offices, Governor, Lt. Governor, and Lt. General.

Virginia and New Jersey have received the lion’s share of press coverage over the past month or so for their off-year governor’s races, but more recently, attention has turned to NY-23. That race, which is a special election made necessary by President Obama’s selection of John McHugh as Secretary of the Army, was turned on its head when Sarah Palin endorsed 3rd party candidate (Conservative Party) Doug Hoffman on October 22nd. The party elders, including Newt Gingrich, had lined up behind the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava in her race against Democrat Bill Owens. Much has happened in the past 10 days. At first, it was thought that Palin’s endorsement would only split Republican votes, handing Owens an easy victory. Instead, Scozzafava has dropped out of the race and has endorsed Owens (!).

It is difficult to understand how Scozzafava was selected to run as a Republican. Here in Virginia, our Democratic governors are often described as socially moderate and fiscally conservative. The popular Doug Wilder comes to mind. So, is Scozzafava more or less liberal than, say, socially moderate and fiscally conservative Democrats? Much more liberal! Scozzafava is in favor of abortion rights, gay marriage, the stimulus package, and card check! Yikes!

The race in NY-23 is close, according to the polling that I have seen. Should Hoffman win, I have heard two schools of thought regarding the lessons to be drawn. The Republicans might see a Hoffman victory as a blow to the Obama administration (Obama carried NY-23 a year ago). The Democrats might spin a Hoffman victory (and, of course, a Hoffman loss) as a sign of a fractured Republican party. But I have also heard that neither party should take solace in a Hoffman victory. This school of thought suggests that a Hoffman victory is true strike against politics as usual in Washington. Wouldn’t that be refreshing? Thanks Sarah!

New Climate, My Arse!

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Imagine my surprise when, this past Friday, it was announced that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. And $1.4 million. According to the Nobel site,

According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize is to go to whoever “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

It appears that, per Nobel’s will, Obama has done exactly nothing. But he has thought good thoughts and his intentions are pure. Obama doesn’t exactly belong in the same company as, say, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Lech Walesa, Mandella and de Klerk. On the other hand, more lately the Prize has not seemed to mean much. After all, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Anan (and the UN itself) and Yasser Arafat were recipients. But those dirtbags at least had a track record. Obama doesn’t have a track record; he has a track wish.

Obama would have done well to reject the prize outright. But I suppose his acceptance speech was good enough.

I am firmly in the camp that believes that the prize is a mixed blessing. Possibly very mixed. The award is nicely juxtaposed with the administration’s equivocation over its Afghanistan strategy. If the administration essentially rejects General McChrystal’s request, it would not be surprising if McChrystal resigned and it seems to me that the administration opens itself up to the easy-to-make charge that there is some sort of quid pro quo. That the administration has been swayed by the action of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. If the American people come to believe that European bed-wetters have somehow affected the foreign policy of the United States, I will predict an even more rapid demise of the Obama revolution.  The Afghanistan question is the subject of current debate, but Iran looms and there, too, I expect that the NNC believes that they have some how inoculated Iran from further harassment from the West. I’m sure Israel is taking notes.

A Simple Rx for Healthcare

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

It has been an interesting 4 or 5 weeks, watching the administration’s plans for healthcare reform (or is it health insurance reform?) implode. What makes this most interesting is the fact that everything is stacked in favor of the Obama administration. Large majorities in Congress, and a filibuster proof 60 votes in the Senate. And they still can’t deliver. Just like the Democratic congress could have halted funding for Iraq, but chose not to. I would think that the objective observer would agree that unhappiness with Bush and Republicans last fall had little to do with lack of healthcare reform. After all, the Bush administration worked with Congress to achieve an incremental improvement in the form of prescription coverage for seniors.

As a compassionate conservative, I have been somewhat sympathetic to the plight of the most unfortunate among us. Here’s how I would approach reform:

  1. Start with tort reform. There is no easier or quicker way to reduce the total cost of healthcare than by reducing or eliminating the ridiculous awards being handed out by juries like candy. And there is no easier way to indicate seriousness and a willingness to “spread the pain”. Plus, this will help get Americans off their notion that someone always has to pay if an outcome is poor.
  2. Require all Americans to have health insurance. As with auto insurance, if someone chooses not to have insurance, require that they pay into an “uninsured citizen” fund. Those paying into this fund would receive their basic healthcare services via Medicaid. Those truly unable to afford insurance should receive some type of tax credit or voucher from Uncle Sam.
  3. Eliminate pre-existing conditions (since everyone will be required to have insurance).

That’s it. The focus is on improving coverage, and not on “bending the curve” (aka cost savings). Anyone that has paid any attention at all to the cost of health insurance knows that many of the same concerns being expressed today were made 10, 15, even 20 years ago. Yes, healthcare costs go up more than the average. But something has to go up more than the average, right? This simply reflects supply and demand. And with baby boomers continuing to get older…well you can see where this is going. The Obama administration could consider addressing the cost increase by encouraging (through grants, say) more medical students to specialize in, say, family practice or in geriatrics.

I am amused every time I hear the administration trashing the insurance companies. The administration believes that a public option is needed “to keep the insurance companies honest”. Right. The fact that there are 1300 insurance companies does nothing for competition?

Liberals don’t want universal healthcare because they care so much for people. They want universal healthcare because they care so much for people’s votes. Give people healthcare, get their votes. How could I make such a grotesque statement? Simple. If liberals really were interested in keeping insurance companies honest, and spurring competition, and reducing costs, then why are they so fiercely against giving parents vouchers and a choice when it comes to education of their children? Apparently, there is no compunction in setting up a public option that has no bottom line profitability requirements to compete against the private insurers. But suggest that the private sector be allowed to compete against school systems that are top-heavy with administrators and that’s a no-go. It’s all about the votes.

Let Me Be Clear

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Well, it has been quite some time since I last posted. What can I say…I sort of lost steam there. But I have been observing the situation in Washington with some amusement. I think it is possible that we have seen the apogee of the Obama presidency. The latest gaffe from Obama was his remark regarding the Cambridge police in acting “stupidly” by arresting Henry Louis Gates read. Here is what most of the appalled left says about this:

  • How could someone be arrested in their own home?
  • There was racial profiling.

In Gates’ arrest, what seems clear to me is only this: Crowley did not give Gates the benefit of the doubt; he did not cut Gates much slack, if any. Beyond that, I don’t know much of anything, other than people are arrested in their own homes all the time. Have you ever seen an episode of Cops? See Crowley’s police report here.

Now this matter of racial profiling is interesting. Frank Rich, writing in the New York Times, gives mad props to the woman making the 9-1-1 call because she was not racial profiling. This was due to the fact that she did not mention that the suspects were “black”. Huh? Is this now the definition of racial profiling? According to Wikipedia, racial profiling

is the inclusion of racial or ethnic characteristics in determining whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime or an illegal act or to behave in a “predictable” manner.

As Obama might say, let me be clear: there is no evidence of racial profiling in this incident. Not the woman, not Crowley, not nobody. Not even close. Maybe Obama can carve out some time in this learning moment and explain this to the race baiters.

The way I see it, Gates acted toward Crowley just like any other belligerent asshat does that tries to strap on the po po. Gates was nothing extraordinary to Crowley. Gates asked Crowley if he knew who he was “messing” with. Well, as a matter of fact, no. It may come as a surprise to Gates, Obama, and others, but practically nobody in the US knows who Gates is. His name is vaguely familiar to me, but I could not pick him out of a lineup. Sure, he is well known in academic circles, and I’m sure his reputation is well deserved. But the man on the street would not know him from Adam. And Crowley acted toward Gates in a manner that was foreign to Gates. Crowley was not some fawning, brown-nosing graduate student. He was not some faculty member looking to curry favor at the next tenure meeting.

To be as charitable as possible toward Gates, he acted like he was tired after his long travel back from China. Maybe he had a few drinks on board the plane. Who knows.

But what we do know is that Obama’s gut reaction places him squarely in the Rev. Wright camp. What a surprise.

A Better Explanation?

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

My friend “Gina” is committed to Obama the candidate’s vision, world view, pledges, etc. On occasion Gina uses Facebook to blog about her disappointment in certain decisions made by Obama the President. Most recently, she posted two links to liberal sites that decry the recent White House response to concerns over an ad hoc statement made by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Gina, and those who have commented on her Facebook post, think the White House has been too accommodating in the face of Republican “bullying”. It seems to me as though the bullys, if there is such a thing, are the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, and they don’t have votes in the Senate. I thought the left was happy having these two be the face of the Republican party! This morning I saw Republican Jeff Sessions and Democrat Patrick Leahy together on a news program answering questions concerning the nomination. Sessions seemed more than reasonable and even Leahy made some sense, which is newsworthy in its own right.

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

I think I know what Sotomayor was trying to say, but I think she said it in a poor way. I’m sure I am not the only one that feels this way. I wonder how Gina and her like-minded friends would feel if a Republican nominee to the Supreme Court expressed similar sentiments using the same construction. To see how construction matters, take “wise Latina woman” and “white male”, and substitute anything else you like.

  • Wise White – Black
  • Wise Jew – Catholic
  • Wise Man – Woman
  • Wise Ivy League Educated – State University Educated
  • Wise Midwest Raised – Left Coast Indoctrinated
  • Wise Gay – Straight

It’s identify politics to the nth degree. I have read many stories in which supporters of this nomination stress that Sotomayor will have no difficulty in defending, or at least explaining, her controversial statements. I’ve no doubt that she will prepare a good explanation. I look forward to hearing it.

Lollapelosipaloser

Monday, May 18th, 2009

As I write this, the Washington DC area is set to test record low temperatures later on this evening. And, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Party is set to test new yearly lows in honesty, ethics, and integrity. Why is it that Democratic leaders such as John Kerry (D-Bag, MA), John Murtha (D-Bag, PA), and Pelosi (D-Bag, CA) seem to be genetically predisposed to challenging institutions such as the US Armed Forces and the CIA?

It’s good to know that people like President Obama, Tim Kaine, and Silvestre Reyes fully support Pelosi. It will make her downfall all the more sweeter. Leon Panetta has done a good job of warning against using the CIA for political purposes, although this warning really only needs to reach one dumb Californian.

I don’t really care if the CIA told Pelosi that waterboarding had been used or that it could be used. She was silent on the subject. Period. In either case, if she had a concern, she could have come forward. She did not. This is the end of the story. Well, almost the end.

I’d like to see the release of the briefing summary. If the briefing summary is at odds with Pelosi’s stories, then she should be ridden out of town on a rail.